At the conclusion of your first meeting with a prospect, do you schedule a follow-up visit before you leave… or do you wait and do it over the phone later? In my experience, it’s best to schedule the next session before you leave. Why? The fact that they set up an appointment with you in the first place demonstrates that they clearly have an interest in your product or service and a desire to improve their efficiency or cut energy costs. If you wait, you give your prospect time to second-guess the urgency of your offering, you risk playing phone tag, and you may wind up losing the sale. Of course, if the first meeting resulted in a resounding “No,” you’re probably better off cutting your losses and focusing on a fresh prospect.
In the book “The 25 Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople,” Stephan Schiffman lists some common excuses salespeople make for not scheduling a follow-up meeting in person:
- “I can’t ask for the appointment; I don’t know when I’ll be back in the area.”
- “I can’t ask for the appointment; I don’t know how long it will take me to write the proposal.”
- “I can’t ask for the appointment; I don’t have a quote ready for the prospect yet.”
- “I can’t ask for the appointment; he may not want to give it to me.”
If you find yourself making any of these excuses, get yourself into the habit of scheduling your follow-up visits in-person.